Founders Media are 'Business of the Month' for April

The Hive at NTU is the centre of entrepreneurship and enterprise where Founders Media was started. Each month, they run a Business of the Month article. This month, it's our turn.
Will from Founders spoke with The Hive's Matt Cain about Founders Media, entrepreneurship and The Hive:

1. What gave you the idea for Founders Media?

I was working at a small start-up in Malta, where the founder told me he does his social media work late at night, before bed, as he is too busy to spend time on it throughout the day.
This made me realise there must be thousands of small businesses that don’t have the time, or simply don’t know how, to run their social media efficiently.
This gave me the idea for a business which manages social media for small businesses, saving them valuable time, for an affordable fee.

2. What are your long term goals for your brand?

I want Founders Media to be the go-to business for small businesses looking for help with their social media.
Whether that’s social media management services, training or just advice.
In terms of the branding, I want Founders Media to be a fun, social (naturally, in the social media industry) brand. So far, I think we have conveyed that image well at our events and through our own social channels.

3. Describe a typical day running Founders Media?

I start the day replying to e-mails, before logging onto Twitter. Here, I’ll do some RTs, respond to any notifications and ensure everything is running as it should. I’ll then go onto Facebook to check any business notifications there.
Once I get to The Hive, my day usually consists of a combination of events management and promotion, handling client requests, often taking calls with potential new clients, and working on future projects looking to grow the business.
Days can vary quite notably, but I think that’s one of the best things about running your own business: the diversity.

4. What is the best thing about having your own business?

In addition to the diversity, I would say it is incredibly rewarding, especially in the beginning (even though Founders Media is still less than 1-year-old). For example, organising successful events (so far we have done events in London and Amsterdam), and seeing your creation’s branding at these events is very rewarding. Additionally, having people from all over the world pay for a service your business is providing is uniquely rewarding. I think it is because everything is a result of your own work, and not just the success of a business for which you work for.
Another good thing is the autonomy; if I need to take a day off, or book an appointment for a certain time, I can. I don’t need to ask anyone. You also get exposed to lots of interesting people and great opportunities.

5. What is the worst thing about having your own business?

In monthly-subscription type businesses, like Founders Media, there is a considerable amount of responsibility to provide your clients with the value they are paying for.
Additionally, as we all know, it’s a lot of work. Even now after getting someone to manage client accounts for Founders Media, it’s still a lot of work. If you’re working on your own or in a small team, you’re in charge of management, HR, marketing, sales, finance, etc. So there’s a lot of work. In addition, you have to constantly look to grow and improve your product/service.
I have found, and I have heard others say this too, that the work is easier when it’s for your own business. The admin work is still boring, but it’s not quite as strenuous when it’s for your own business.

6. Why did you decide to go to The Hive for support?

I was already involved with The Hive and NTU Entrepreneurs Club, and I had worked at The Hive, so I knew the team. Therefore it was natural for me to go to The Hive once I had an idea I believed I could turn into a business.
After initial meetings with Phil, I continued to work on the idea, conducting market research at first, until Founders Media became operable in April 2016. The Hive and its facilities have been invaluable and I think all entrepreneurial NTU students should make use of The Hive while they have such a good opportunity to.

7. Do you have any advice for someone looking to set up his or her own business, was the hive helpful?

I would say gaining some work experience in a related industry helps. But otherwise, start working on the idea as soon as possible, no excuses.
I would also advise against rushing into setting up your business. It’s a very exciting time when you know you’re going to start a business, so it’s easy to rush into the fun stuff. I personally value the importance of thorough market research, contingencies and business model shaping very highly, and so be 110% sure you’re ready to launch before you do.
The Hive, as I mentioned briefly, have been really helpful. Their business advisors enabled me to shape, test and validate my business idea, which is really important. They provoked questions about my business I would never have considered myself. Additionally, the facilities are great; there are meeting rooms you can book for Skype calls or, obviously, meetings. It’s a nice environment to be in, too, with really nice people all around you, sharing ideas and thoughts.

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